The goal of Mike Daisey’s performance was to draw attention to an issue he feels has not received its fair share of attention from the global media. I was not that surprised to learn that it was not all true when I heard the “Retraction” podcast because I thought that the conditions described in Daisey’s performance were terrible enough to provoke more action against Foxconn from the international community. That being said, I think he did a great job of using shock value to stimulate discussion and awareness of a very real problem that certainly needs to be dealt with. Although all of those stories and anecdotes may have not happened at the Foxconn factory in China, I think it is a fair assumption to make that those stories are true in other factories across China or around the world.
The TAL podcast was important because it let the public know that the performance lacked real journalistic integrity and it generated further positive discussion on the issue of child labor practices, even if it meant admitting that conditions were not quite so bad at the Foxconn factory. I think that the TAL podcast actually contributed to Daisey’s ultimate goal of increasing awareness of the issue of child labor because it established the standard of fact checking that makes people responsible for what they say. In doing so, it promotes the stimulating and effective discussion that leads to a solution.
I don’t think that there will be any significant changes in the fight against child labor violations across the world. There is just not enough oversight and regulation of factories in other countries. Mike Daisey got the discussion started using “shock and awe” tactics and then the TAL podcast set up the ground rules for that discussion.